Looking at getting my first Baitcaster

Discussion in 'Fishing Reel Review' started by tricitycatter, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. tricitycatter

    tricitycatter Member

    Messages:
    354
    State:
    Washington
    Well for the last 6 months I have been using Okuma Spinning reels for all my fishing & have fallen in love with the ones I got (4 of em), but I am considering getting a baitcaster in the near futre. I have a couple of Shakespear low profile baitcaster I got for $10 last year from a guy fed up with them, & after trying to figure out how to cast with em I too got fed up with the mess I was making of the line. I was told the reels are really crap 7 I should get a good reel that has a good break & that I would have no problems, so now I have looked at the Abu's & peen's & they are down right out of my price range for a beginner baitcaster. I went to Okumas web page & looked at thier offerings in round reels & found the Chromer 400, it has a 6 pin velocity control system, it is just under $70.00 & I am seriously considering it. I was wondering if those of you who use baitcasters would consider that i good choice to learn on & if the 6 pin thing would help me keep from backlashing it every time?
    Specs for the 400LX (I need a Left hand reel) 2BB + 1RB
    270/14, 210/18, 180/20
    5.1:1
    23"
    10-lbs
    12.6 oz
     
  2. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,563
    State:
    Alabama
    I learned to cast baitcasters on my OKUMA CLASSIC 450L. It was rough and frustrating for about 2 months now baitcasters are my favorite reels. Um your prices may not be correct. If you are just learning to cast I would recommnd an Abu 6500C3 or like reel, they are alot easier and dont seem to backlash as much. You can get them from Walmart for $79.99 I just found this out thursday lol after I paid $103 for mine over the summer. The Abu 5000-6000 are nice also. If you hit ebay you could get a Penn 320GT2 for around $70-$80 which is a very easy reel to cast also. You can get Okuma 300Ls for $32.99 or the 450L for $34.99. Shakespere Tidewater/Arsenals 20 series are $34.99, If you can find the Arsenal HD 20 series they are great and only $36.99. Also the Ming Yang reels are very easy to cast and the CL60 is $34.99. All of these reels are reliable and yes I have used and own each of them. I could recommend more but others are out your given price range or are a little harder to learn on for a beginner
     

  3. festus

    festus New Member

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    7,660
  4. MAX1955

    MAX1955 New Member

    Messages:
    1,070
    State:
    KENTUCKY
    Brian like you all I used was spinning reels up until about 18 years ago, before I learned to use baitcasters. The reel you mention looks to be a decent reel, but I can't find any reviews on that model. Okuma does have some nice reels and they have come a long way, and seem to be showing a lot of improvements on some of there products. I do have a couple of there spinning outfits and they are nice. Most of the baitcasters I have are abus, I found them to be forgiving when learning to cast them. At the time I could get the red 6000 abu for 59.00, and I got lucky and got two C3 for the same price (each), I still have those reels (C3's). I'll admit I do like the abu reels, they hold up, easy to maintain, parts are easy to get, customer service, and they do cast. But today there are alot more choices when it comes to baitcasters, okuma being one of them. It remains to be seen if any of these reels are here to stay and the reliability of there products. I will say for 16.00 more you can get a new 6500 C3 abu, cheaper if you shop and do your homework. Let us know what you get and be sure to give us your review.
     
  5. tricitycatter

    tricitycatter Member

    Messages:
    354
    State:
    Washington
    Thank you everyone for the advice, I will definately look into this more seeing that I have a month or so to get some $$ saved up.
     
  6. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    I use pretty much all Penn 209's now. with 1- 220 thrown into the mix.I had a lot of trouble with bird nesting till i figured out you a have to use heavier weights with them.I use anywhere from 4oz to 8 oz now..
    The A.B.U. is a good reel and pretty forgiving on screw ups. I'm just partial to Penn Reels.
    Just don't get frustrated and give up like I did for several years
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2010
  7. USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT

    USCA-RECLAIMED-ACCOUNT New Member

    Messages:
    3,020
    The Okuma should get ya started just fine.The centrigical brake will cut down on your backlashes while you get used to it.Keep it turned up high in the beginning and then keep lowering it as you get used to casting it.
     
  8. Branj796

    Branj796 Member

    Messages:
    911
    State:
    Illinois
    Any baitcaster can be cast if you know how to use it. Just have someone you know that uses them help you out. I hated the dang things until my buddy took me out and showed me how to use one. The way you cast. using your thumb, setting the spool tension, all that is something someone could make real easy by showing you. If you dont know then you will just get tangled to heck. I have a Abu Garcia 6601 c4 reel and it is by far my favorite and smoothest baitcaster. I year and a half ago I swore I was gonna throw the dang thing in the lake.
     
  9. CatFuStyle

    CatFuStyle New Member

    Messages:
    211
    State:
    Xenia, Ohio
    Using baitcasters isnt difficult it only seems like it is, especially when new too using one. my buddy uses okuma baitcasters and loves them he wont use anything else and ive castedthem and they work pretty well so your choice is sound. the best advice i could give you is setup information. this is after you have the reel on a pole and spooled with your line of choice:

    Line weight plays a big factor in casting and distance heavier and stiffer the line the harder it is to cast and handle.

    Initial Setup of reel adjustmants:

    Tie on lead weight that you would normally use, hold rod at 45º relative to your body standing up, have the tension knob (located by handle and drag) set to very loose (knob turning towards you without it coming off) hold thumb on line and use other hand to depress thumb button to cast, note the speed at which the weight falls, tighten up the tension knob till when the weight hits the floor the line stops feeding from the spool. this is the basic setup to get anyone started on any baitcaster.

    This is the basic setup for any baitcasting reel, you also use this when your going from one weight size to another this way you dont get nasty birds nest. also it is easier to learn how to throw a baitcasting reel like a round reel than it is a bass style, their worlds apart.

    Brandon
     
  10. centexcop

    centexcop Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,054
    State:
    Texas
    Baitcasters can be a little intimidating in the beginning, but once you get them mastered, it's a very good experience. I've still got a few spining reels, but they haven't been my goto choice in a long time now...
     
  11. payton350

    payton350 New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    Iowa
    I would look in to catmaxx reel it doesn't get any easier, I also have a abu 6500 (I recommend) and I think they are some what similar except the catmaxx it easier to cast and cost about $30 less, but in any case it just takes practice and once you get the hang of it you will never go back to a spinnig reel.
     
  12. Catfishboy1995

    Catfishboy1995 New Member

    Messages:
    3,104
    State:
    Council Bluffs
    Ill tell you waht if your anything like m...(Classice plain old redneck kid..lmao) you'll fall in love with bait casters once you get one fish on it...I love them and all i ever use excpt occaniasiouly i do use a spinning reel for like bluegills and such..But Baitcasters ROCK!!!!!!!!!!I woulod reccomen what ever Ramon says he has some NICE combos!!!adn alot of other guys only use abu and reccomnd abu..Dont get me wrong Abu Garcia is the Bomb diggity of reels...but ther pricey compared to say a shaxesphere or a ming yang..
     
  13. Catfishboy1995

    Catfishboy1995 New Member

    Messages:
    3,104
    State:
    Council Bluffs
    I love my Catmaxx!!!I like my Abu Garcia more though..The clicker is louder and i have a power handle on my abu..
     
  14. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Messages:
    6,252
    State:
    Verde Valley AZ

    He said,,,Bomb diggity....:laugh1:
     
  15. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    BOMB DIGGITY DIGGITY DIGGITY!!!:highfive:
     
  16. Catfishboy1995

    Catfishboy1995 New Member

    Messages:
    3,104
    State:
    Council Bluffs
    Lmao...Kenny did too!!lmao again
     
  17. shaky

    shaky Member

    Messages:
    200
    State:
    smithville mo
    When you get your reel, get some cheap line that you don't care about and a 1 to 2 oz weight, put it on you rod and reel and FIND A BIG OPEN YARD OR FIELD AND PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.. play with the magnetic brack and you'll get it in now time. The cheap line will be more likley to bird nest and when you cast so if you get good at casting crappy line when you put good line on it it will cast like a dream. Thats how i learned anyway.. good luck.
     
  18. ramon06

    ramon06 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,563
    State:
    Alabama
    Now you guys got me saying it: BOMB DIGGITY LMAO
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    Messages:
    408
    State:
    Illinois
    Some great tips in this thread about how to adjust the reel initially, and using more break tension at first.

    Key to avoiding backlash is stopping the spinning spool when the bait hits the water. Accomplished either using friction or magnetic brake, or via thumb. I find it easier at first to use more weight and more tension. In fact, if you're chucking large baits with 3 or more oz lead, I think baitcasters are pretty comfortable to use with a little practice. My preferred option for placing baits tight to heavy cover, as you can thumb the spool to avoid overshooting the target.

    As far as different reels, I recommend free-spool reels over lever drag. I love my Trion 6.6/Cabela's Salt Striker round baitcaster, but you can't get them new anymore. A few other options I see come up on e Bay are Quantum Iron, or some of the Shimanos.
    I would even use some of the cheaper options, if you're not using them a lot for heavy duty. I've had a few Shakespeare SKPs, not the best buit reels, but the newer silver ones aren't as bad. (Just grabbed a SKP2000C off E bay for $9.99 or something plus shipping). Tidewater reels are pretty solid for a reasonable price. I used to use an ABU 5600 C5 Mag-X which was a terrific channel cat reel. Expensive reel, I only grabbed it because is was 1/2 off. You could even throw bass and muskie lures with that reel, just not enough line capacity for me. I don't have much experience with the Penn's so I can't really speak to those. Many swear by them...most are built to last.

    Cat guys can debate spinning vs casting reels until the cows come home. I like both. In general I prefer spinning reels, especailly making longer casts at night. Targeting flatheads in and around heavy cover I like the casting reels a bit better, since the fish pulls in-line with the spool and not at a right angle. But, there are a lot of guys using larger spinning gear (Shimano baitrunners, Okuma Epixor, Quantum Iron, Tidewater freeliner) in those situations too. It's lot like the never ending clicker debate. I like to have clicker/baitfeeder reels so I have the option of using those features, but usually have my reels "locked in."

    Shawn
     
  20. trainwreck1958

    trainwreck1958 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    missouri
    It just takes a lot of time to get used to baitcasters. My first baitcasters were cheap shakespere low profile reels. I think they cast just as easy as my abu's I still backlash when i hit a tree limb. lol Or when my thumb forgets what my eyes are thinking. Im not sure if a high priced real is going to help a lot. It takes a lot of time. I have 9 bait casters now and ill never use anything else. 5 are abu 6500;s I use them for all my catfishing. The bigger reals are nice and will catch bigger fish. Just dont give up you will love them.